Acupuncture is Alive and Ever Flowing…
Acupuncture is a form of healing that dates back more than 3000 years with its golden period in the Han dynasty (206bc – 220ad). It was in this golden period that the foundational Chinese medical texts were written (Su wen, Ling Shu, Nan Jing). These texts form the basis of Chinese Medicine and acupuncture concepts still to this day, and the many differing styles of acupuncture all draw their roots from these foundational texts.
Over 3000 years acupuncture has travelled from China to Japan to Korea and to the rest of the world always adapting to its environment and social conditions. These adaptations and interpretations have created the many different schools of thought and styles of acupuncture available today.
Modern Day Styles
These styles or schools include but are not limited to: Saam acupuncture which was developed in Korea with a 400 year history. Kiiko Matsumoto style which is a complete system with influences from Manaka, Nagano, and Kawai. Worsley five element acupuncture based on J.R Worsley’s interpretation and adaptation of five element philosophy which he brought back to the west in the md 1950’s. To the mainstream Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that took shape in the last sixty years and was brought to the forefront by Chairman Mao’s Great Leap Forward (1958 – 1961).
Other mainstream styles include Toyohari which was originally taught to blind Japanese practitioners with the Toyo Hari Medical Association founded by Kodo Fukushima in 1959, and other meridian therapy styles which developed in the 1940’s in reaction to the modernising trend in acupuncture taking place in Japan, with their cry for the direction of acupuncture to return to its classical roots.
It is important to note that all these styles of acupuncture are equally valid in the hands of the right practitioner, however they do vary in their levels of interpretation and adherence to the classical acupuncture concepts. As well as varying in the treatment techniques that they employ, and the size/ gauge of the needles that they use.
In Practical Essence…
What this means to those seeking acupuncture treatment is that your practitioner may adhere to one style or another and subsequently use thicker/ or thinner needles, use non penetrative needles, press on the body more, not press on the body at all, take your pulse or look at your tongue, ask a variety of weird and wonderful questions or none at all.
My recommendation for those receiving treatment is to always critically evaluate its effect and that you are benefiting from the acupuncture session. We as acupuncturists are ultimately here to assist you in regulating the body/mind and to subsequently take away pain in its many forms.
(Giancarlo Nerini - Acupuncturist)